Sunday, April 25, 2010

Two-Day Respite

I love to hate weekends.

Two days of rest. Just enough to fuck with your circadian rythym. And yet, if we only had one more day then maybe things would get done.

But the rest, the respite in what is the middle of my publishing cycle, is always welcome. It's often used to recharge your batteries. To relax.

I'm sure I've said this before, but I tend to overcommit myself on the weekends. I plan on doing things at a break-neck pace, but the truth is, I like to take my time.

Long story short, I didn't end up re-caulking the shower. I did, however, almost finish something I've been working on for a month:


After several glasses of wine, I finally have a garden border!


(Just kidding, Mom! I didn't drink all of that. Only, like, half?)


No, seriously, my sister and Dave were both a HUGE help. Lots of Pellegrino bottles in there, too. And Ommegang beer.

We often wonder what the "Reuse" part of "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" looks like. Here you go.




Also, the chicken coop is still cute.


And so are the chickens...


And Hornsby, too.

Here's to weekends...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Plans for the weekend

1) Feign an effort to go to the 9 a.m. yoga class tomorrow morning.
2) Sew a handbag (I might make one for a giveaway, which I've never done before (!) so stay tuned)
3) Knit
4) Re-caulk the shower
5) Weedeat the alley, get rid of the poison ivy without contracting it.
6) Play with my camera

I think that about does it.

I may or may not shop for chickens, too.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

RIP, Gloria Steinem


We had a pretty rough winter this year. It was hard on us and the rest of the household. The heater was always on, and the snow kept falling. And we were always worried about something.

About three or four months ago, one of our chickens, Gloria Steinem, was slow to come out of the coop. She looked as if she'd lost some weight and she had some runny bowel movements. We brought her inside, gave her some antibiotics and plenty of warm food, and let her have the run of the bathroom for about three weeks. She definitely improved, so when it was warm enough, she went back outside.

Everything seemed OK for a few weeks. She was hard at work finding her place in the pecking order. She ran around the backyard with the rest of the flock and had lots of grapes.

However, she never really put the weight back on.

We did a preventative course of antibiotics with the rest of the flock to make sure that no one was infected or re-infected. Everyone else seemed fine.

Then, on Friday, Gloria couldn't stand. Dave and I worried that she didn't recover fully from her winter illness. We brought her inside, gave her a warm towel, some water, some lettuce and some cat food (they love cat food for some reason), and we went to bed.

The next morning she was still with us, but when we got done with some Saturday morning chores, and I went to check on her, she was dead. Her body was cold. She was gone.

I cried so hard, harder than I thought I ever would for the loss of a chicken. It was something for which I was completely unprepared. But it really affected me. I lost a snake about four years ago, and that was hard. During the winter, as Gloria spent time inside, we got to know her.

I didn't always like her, though. We got her from a former friend that couldn't keep her. She came with a sister and a buddy, Audrey Hepburn and Effa Manley, respectively. All three of them have attitude problems, and they picked on the three chickens we already had raised. She did win second place in her breed in the State Fair of Texas year before last, though, so she had that going for her.

But just because she was pushy, didn't mean that she couldn't be sweet. She was always the first to run up to me during treat time. And she loved eating from my hand. She was a good chicken.

And I miss her.





Monday, April 12, 2010

A Time For Looking Back

I can't believe how much weight I gained since last year.

How do I know it's been a year since I piled on 12 pounds?

Well, a year from last Tuesday I was laid off from my job at The Dallas Morning News.

Interestingly, several of the people who were laid off at the same time held a party or get-together. Maybe it was media networking. Who cares. I didn't go, and for a damn good reason:

I don't want to hear other people's misanthropic crap stories.

I want to remember my time at The News as good. I got a job there right out of college with no major newspaper internship. That doesn't often happen. But it did for me.

Not only that, but I was working with some of the smartest people in the business. The Editorial Department at The Dallas Morning News is second to none. They are about so much more than the editorials you see in the second-to-last page in the A section every day. They work hard to generate ideas and make a difference.

Now, I haven't agreed with all of their ideas or the way they've been implemented (like, can we chill out on the number of blogs already?), but when they decide to get behind something, to do something right, they almost always succeed.

When Keven Ann Willey took over the Editorial Department, that was probably the best thing to happen for them and the voice of the newspaper. The department became more about doing and less about talking.

First it was recorded votes in the Legislature. They ended up Pulitzer finalists in 2008 for that effort (the Pulitzer jury did not award a prize for editorial writing that year. It was also the year that Willey was a jurist).

Now, The News' Editorial Board has won a Pulitzer. And I have to say, it's for a lot better cause than recorded votes (although that's pretty cool, too). The folks over there have done some excellent work, some real and tenacious journalism, about the systemic poverty that exists in much of southern Dallas, and how the city has ignored the problem for much too long.

Congratulations to them. I couldn't be more thrilled.